Friday, January 16

our boho kitties rock!

elvis (left) and amber (right) protecting while cedar naps

amber (left) and elvis (right) discussing cedar's dance moves

We had no idea how our kitties would respond to Cedar. They have been our children for years and to introduce them to a new baby brought up concerns for us in a big way. Our kitties slept with us, cuddled on the couch, followed us wherever we went and so I wondered if all of this would stop, if they would run away or just ignore Cedar and be annoyed by his cries.

What ended up happening was so beautiful. At first Amber was the one to be nurturing right away. She went up and sniffed him and laid near him on that first night bringing him home. With the bassinet right up against my side of the bed, she would lay near it and constantly look in to see if he was alright. Elvis reacted differently. At first he hissed and ran away from him. It was as if he thought Cedar was another cat there to steal his food and cushy blankets all around the house. We noticed Elvis looked annoyed and frustrated with us. I was so worried he'd just take off one day, so we tried to give our kitties as much attention as possible. Then, about a week after Cedar was home, Elvis started laying a bit closer to him each night. He would walk up and smell him rather than turn away when we brought Cedar into a room. Most recently, he lays near Cedar and places his paw somewhere on his body and purrs.

The cutest thing is that both Amber and Elvis are really protective of Cedar now. Each of them grab a side to snuggle on and they look at one another as if they are discussing what the babysitting plan is (I captured it in these two photos).

My favorite part of the week is during the weekend when we all try to stay in bed as long as possible and all four of us are cuddled near one another. We call it the "family bed" and I must say, I am totally blissed out on those mornings.

Cedar loves to watch them but I have no idea if he has registered the difference between a human and a cat as of yet. One time when Amber was snuggled near him, he squealed when looking at her up close and flailed his arms to where he whacked her in the face. I thought she was going to jump off of the couch but rather, she just turned her body in the other direction and was so very patient with him.

I am curious what your experiences have been with your children and pets, or other peoples children and your pets, or other peoples pets and your children or if you just want to talk about your pets. ; ) Do share.


Blogger Erin said...

How sweet are Elvis and Amber!!

I felt the same concerns when we had a baby because our house is owned by two very large dogs. We were particularly concerned with one of them, Katie, who is 90 pounds of attitude.

When we brought our 4 pound preemie of a son home from the hospital, we placed his car seat carrier on the floor and crossed our fingers. Katie walked right up to it and dropped her chin at his feet. From that moment on, she has been his dog.

He's 16 months old now and she still wants to stay by his side at all times. She's gentle and attentive, lets us know when he's crying (as if we'd miss that!), and is endlessly patient as he's learning to push his boundaries.

It surprised the heck out of us, but has been one of my favorite things to watch.

January 16, 2009 at 12:30:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cats know a good thing when they see it! Dogs know everything is a good thing! I once registered the difference between a human being and a cat, and then thank heaven I forgot it again!

Looking forward to meeting the Whole Love Bunch soon.

January 16, 2009 at 12:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger karin said...

the kitties are smart little beings, aren't they? we haven't had kitties, but have had dogs the entire time we've had kids. when we brought Cam, our now 10 year old son (!) home, we had Murphy, our beloved 1 yr old chocolate lab. Murphy was tender and kind, and attentive. And it became apparent ... jealous. He consumed one of the hospital blankets. whole.
And that wasn't discovered until he purged it.
In a parking lot with my husband who had taken him to work all day to give him some undivided attention. Yeah ... that was fun. But after that, he only consumed baby socks here and there ... to remind us that he was still! number! one! so we would oblidge and he'd slow down.
sadly, Murphy was put to rest just 2 months ago at the age of 11. It was the hardest thing we've ever done as a couple, and family.
We had, however, been able to fill our home with two other doggies over the years - we have Cleo, our 7 year old Cocker, and Higgins, our 2 year old Newfie. Higgins is incredible with the kids - he truly herds them, and paces when they are away from him. He is gentle and kind, and incredibly funny. Cleo is a sweet, kind independant gal, who was Murphy's sidekick. She is missing him so, and has a sweet disposition, but isn't in your face. She sounds a lot like Elvis, actually.
In the end, pets are a wonderful addition to the family, aren't they? And to see the dynamic change with an addition is so amazing ... I hope the kitties continue to love him with all their hearts as well. They better, they have to keep up with mommy and daddy! :)

January 16, 2009 at 12:59:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived with cats all my life. When I was a kid, I had a wonderful friend who was an orange cat. He was so, so patient with me - letting me put in him boxes, read him stories, and all sorts of things. :)

January 16, 2009 at 1:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Loran said...

My kitty at the time was patient and accepting of the first baby. I think most kitties are. It's when the baby starts pulling whiskers and ears that they get frustrated, but often the cat would just go limp and allow all kinds of undignified activites. It was really funny when my two girls would put him in the baby stroller and push him around. Well socialized cats are great. No worries.

January 16, 2009 at 1:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sharon Delman said...

Our two Labs arrived a year before our son. We spent time pulling ears and tugging on tails anticipating kids' play. Today, both my son and daughter are deeply bonded to Hamish (our yellow Lab) and Isla (our black Lab). The dogs snuggle and protect us all. Our family wouldn't be the same without them.

January 16, 2009 at 1:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

we were worried about Nevada too at first because she was the only child for so many years, but she is very protective of bella. in fact, they are napping together right now.

she gets very upset when bella cries and will start meowing at me like, "hey lady, do something!"

every morning when we wake up nevada comes up to the baby and isabella just laughs, she adores Nevada and wants to pull on her fur and tail all the time. Luckily, Nevada is pretty tolerant of all the grabbing and kicking. i was really worried at first.

we love our "family bed" as well. pure bliss. my total happy place.

love you, and your sweet family

January 16, 2009 at 2:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kim said...

Hi! I'm coming out of lurking :) I love your photography and your sweet baby is just adorable.

I don't have any children yet, but I am definitely worried about our older cat. She was the only child for the longest time. When we got our dog she was mad at us for several weeks, and wouldn't even stay in the same room as the dog for months. She has yet to warm up to my sister's cat who we took in a year ago. When my nephew was a toddler she would hiss at him and nip at him (although she never broke his skin). Now my nephew doesn't go near her. She is the most loving cat in the world to us, though. I hope that she will learn to love our baby. Maybe she will surprise us and act like Amber and Elvis :)

January 16, 2009 at 3:40:00 PM PST  
Blogger mames said...

those photos are priceless. your kits are as loving as you are.

we have a german shepherd and she had been with us about 8 months before i got pregnant and she was just over one when we had the twins. she has always been patient and tolerant of their often rough advances, she snuggles them when they invade her dog bed and she is great about getting up and leaving when she needs a break.

she is not perfect, a professed ball crazer, she loses sight of them when she sees the tennis ball come out. but now they throw it to her and tell her to 's*it' and it is awesome.

January 16, 2009 at 5:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when my oldest was born i was worried like any parent does......however i was melted by my 10yr old cocker spaniel who laid under the bassinet in my room, then followed us down the hall so i could shower, and again to the living room to lay under that basinett. sweetness.

came across your blog for photography reasons and instead fell in love with your blissful cedar story..... thanks for sharing

January 16, 2009 at 5:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very cute.

January 16, 2009 at 8:31:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From day one our Chloe planted herself right by our sons side and never strayed.

Follow the link to see a pic:

This is video of them today 9 months later...


January 17, 2009 at 1:55:00 AM PST  
Blogger Sleepandhersisters said...

I have found our cat to be ever so gentle with Ben, it is amazing, she seems to know that she has to be gentle and if she needs to take a swipe her claws are tucked away and it is like a kind reminder that it is time to stop pulling her fur.

January 17, 2009 at 3:49:00 AM PST  
Blogger MsGraysea said...

Those photos are so tender and beautiful!
I grew up in a house filled with cats....I was one of seven children and we all had at least one cat...not as crazy as it sounds. It was great! They intuitively know when love and attention is needed and nurturing is in their nature.
Now, I have a nurturing cat, as do all my adult children.
When my youngest son was an infant, I had a pregnant siamese female who was determined to give birth to her kittens in my son's crib. No matter what I did would deter her....well, that's where they were born one night and I awoke in the morning to find "Mom" kitty happily purring & nursing her 5 babies cuddled with my baby son! Today that son has a newborn (born about the same time as Cedar) and the baby is also being watched over by my wonderful grandkitty, Sting. When my DIL was pregnant, Sting was on her belly or lap every second possible.....purring and kneading.
I have never known a cat to be anything but at first inquisitive and then gentle and attentive with babies, and VERY tolerant of the "abuse" which can be handed out by toddlers. My son used to haul his cat, Mocha, around in an old knitting bag and that cat LOVED it and asked for it!
I am so so thrilled for you all on the arrival of Cedar! Savor...as for Elvis and Amber, they are just beautiful, too!

January 17, 2009 at 4:34:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these stories are great to hear. We have two sister cats and most of what we've heard is that cats and babies don't go together. But I could never give them up. It makes me so happy to know that so many people have cats and babies living happily together! It gives me hope.

January 17, 2009 at 4:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger Natalie said...

We had worries too about our beagle Genghis....but in the end, they just "got to know" one another and now they're buddies. It was slow and tentative at first...but now they not only tolerate one another but they also just hang out. It's cool.

Here's an early picture of our two guys....hanging...


January 17, 2009 at 7:15:00 AM PST  
Blogger Leslie said...

When we brought our son home from the hospital 11 years ago (man, I'm old!) our cat hid in the basement for a month. I felt horrible. :( Eventually, Hobbs warmed up to Reilly, and now they are inseparable. I was completely replaced as Hobb's "person". Hee. My daugter, 3 years younger than my son, doesn't get why Hobbs won't sleep in her bed every the way he does with Reilly. She feels slighted when the cat does choose to snuggle with her -- when Reilly is gone somewhere overnight. LOL. Hobbs is approaching old age (he'll be 16 this summer) and I worry about how the kids will react when he's gone. Makes me sad just thinking about it.

January 17, 2009 at 9:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger WindyLindy said...

When the family was here for the Holiday's, they laid Bella's blanket and toys on the living room floor.

My three cats, Stanley, Shadoe and Ace were kind of 'put out' at first.

The next day they all gathered around Bella and the stuff on the floor.

Ace even when up to Bella and kissed her with his nose.

They say cats are very intuitive and I believe it!

Your family is Glorious.


January 17, 2009 at 10:17:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to have 2 cats, 2 sisters and when we brought our daugther home, our alfa cat came to sniff her out and decided the kid was OK. A few moths later, our alfa cat died and our shy cat, Bing, completely changed and became the most cuddly cat. When you put a pillow on your lap, she can help herself and comes to sit on it. And she does the same with my daughter who is almost 4 now. When we brought our san home form the hospital, 9 months ago, she sniffed him out and decided she loved him even more. When I sit down with him within her reach, she hurries over and rubs her head against his hands. So sweet!

January 18, 2009 at 12:29:00 PM PST  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

We got Gordon after our 3rd IVF...he was our baby for 5 years...he healed us...and protected us..and made us giggle...when we introduced him to Kellen...he looked at him...wagged his tail...and licked his hand...which was amazing...as he doesn't like small children...he tends to go for them if they sit close to him...and Kellen is only other breathing one allowed with him in his bed! :-) xx

I told Marcel i think Gordon sensed that Kellen belongs to us...and is now part of our little family...magical! xx

January 18, 2009 at 1:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger jon-erik said...

...... caring.... intuitive and loving animal spirits are with in your circle........ I guess that makes you all a family.
Amber and Elvis are each, your four legged animal companions on this earth walk.......they each walked with you when you were both single.....and now that you both are "couple"...with baby.......the lion and lioness of the couch......are showing you.....they are accepting and protecting ...... the BOHO TRIBE that is forming......animal energy around a new born ....... is healthy for CEDAR"S soul!........Namaste Jon-Erik and Ghozt

January 19, 2009 at 8:01:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the space
between two hearts.

February 12, 2009 at 9:33:00 PM PST  
Blogger Thinkie said...

Thats so sweet!
I grew up with cats, we got one when I was a baby, I know he was very protective of me and we played together (ripping off the wallpaper for instance, he made scratches with his nails and I used my fingers to get the paper off) when I was a toddler but I don't know how he behaved around me when I was a baby. He died when I was 4 :-( Later we got another cat, I was five and he was my best friend, he died when I was 22 and after 5 years I stll miss him. I knew how to handle a cat @ 5 and how not to hurt or provoke him, he didn't like me carrying him but we played a lot. A few years later my mum started looking after our neighbours baby and toddler, he was so sweet with them! He just loved the smell of babies and slept in the crib whenever he could sneak in, same with the maxicosi of my nephew in later years. When a kid hurt him he knew exactly if it was an accident by a little one that didn't know better (he would walk away or hiss) or if it was a mean kid who did it knowingly (in that case he would hit the kid but not use his nails and hiss more ferociously to warn the kid).
As an adult I got Indi, we lost her last year, she didn't really like kids and was quite ambivalent with my little sister, she was jealous and a bit frightened but when my sister was staying the night she would sleep on her bed and look all protective.

March 8, 2009 at 3:34:00 PM PDT  

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